The infection toll and death toll in the fungal meningitis outbreak continues to rise. According to a story on the matter in the New York Times this week, the latest tally is at 282 patients who have contracted meningitis, with 23 deaths. These numbers represent a steady rise since the matter first burst into the public consciousness a few weeks ago. The New England compounding plant at the heart of the controversy has been temproarily closed and the main problem drugs–spinal steroid injections–have been recalled.
However, one sad reality of this fiasco is that the matter is far from over. That is because fungal meningitis has a rather long latency period. That means that the fungus can incubate in the body for weeks (or even months!) before manifesting itself into signs or symptoms that the patients might actually notice. This means that many more patients may ultiamtely contract the condition. Medical experts working on the situation note that at least 14,000 are still waiting in limbo after receiving the spinal steroid injection–usually given for pain in the back.
This waiting game is an often under-appreciated aspect of these vast drug errors and pharmaceutical recalls. All of us appreciate the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual toll that waiting to hear potentially bad news has on an individual. Just like sitting in a medical waiting room worrying about whether a loved one will make it out of surgery successfully, families waiting to hear news of meningitis development must similarly suffer.
The New York Times story this week explains how thousands across the country–including many in Chicago and Illinois–have been forced into that waiting game. A mother and daughter were interviewed for the story after both of them received the pain injections. Thus far neither has come down with the illness, but that does not mean they are in the clear. Medical experts have explained to them that the incubation period of the fungus means that it is impossible to tell if both are safe. This waiting is obviously damaging. The 57-year old daugher explained that her mother was worrying constantly about her health. She noted, “I think we’re both terrified that the other one is going to come down with it […] She’s 80 years old, and if she were to come down with it, she would have very little chance of survival.”
Meningitis Outbreak Lawyers in Chicago
The civil justice system is one of the most important ways to hold this pharmaceutical company accountable for the severe consequences of its conduct which led to this outbreak. If you are in Chicago or elsewhere in Chicago, please take a moment to contact our office and learn about your legal rights after being affected by this outbreak.
Timing always matters in these situations. Various unique legal issues are at play in large-scale cases like this one with hundreds (if not thousands) of affected parties. For this reason it is important not to delay. Act now and ensure you will be compensated fully and fairly for anything that you lose a result of this situation.
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